Next in Queue: Career Year Could be on Horizon for Heidfeld

Enrique MoralesContributor INovember 18, 2009

VALENCIA, SPAIN - AUGUST 21:  Nick Heidfeld of Germany and BMW Sauber prepares to drive during practice for the European Formula One Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit on August 21, 2009, in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

219.

What's that number mean to Nick Heidfeld?

It's the amount of points he has scored in his Formula 1 career, the most of any driver without a single grand prix win.

To make matters worse, than winless racer's 2009 squad, BMW-Sauber F1, pulled out of the sport, leaving the German driver without a seat for the next season.

Heidfeld need not worry.

Last year, when Honda pulled out, doubts remained over Jenson Button's participation in the World Championship.  After Ross Brawn purchased the team, Button not only raced in 2009, but took the title.

Now, it might be Nick's chance to work under the guidance of the legendary Brawn.

With Mercedes-Benz purchasing 75% of the championship-winning Brawn Grand Prix, an all-German lineup is likely, and Heidfeld has been mentioned as the leading candidate to partner Nico Rosberg at the "new" team.

Should Heidfeld secure the drive, it will be just another feel-good story in a season of grand prix motor racing that has seen it's fair share of them.

In addition to Button's improbable championship, Rubens Barrichello's 2009 had a storybook ending, taking two victories after a four season drought.

Mark Webber, in a similar situation as Heidfeld finds himself in now, took his first career triumph at the Nürburgring, and his second late in the season at Interlagos.

Heidfeld has the speed, having scored 12 podiums and beaten highly-praised teammate Robert Kubica in two of their three seasons together.

Like Button or Webber, he hasn't had the results that really mattered.

He also hasn't had the car to help him achieve them.

While Nick would likely fill a number two role, even second drivers like the aforementioned Barrichello have been able to take race victories.

At this point, that's all Nick Heidfeld needs.

He's certainly earned it, having fought in F1 for 10 seasons without giving up.

Sometimes, all it takes to turn a career around is the opportunity of a lifetime.

And sometimes, that opportunity actually comes.

Mercedes could be the greatest chance Heidfeld will ever receive.

219.

What will that number mean to Nick Heidfeld in 2010?

If he has a drive with Mercedes Grand Prix, it may mean absolutely nothing.